Druids used Holly timber to make charcoal and forge steel. It was said that if you planted a holly tree close to your house it would protect it from lightning strikes. It certainly seems to work judging by the remains of the one at the back of huntingford cottage! Holly was once used to treat chill blains & people would thrash their feet with leafy branches. Cows like to munch on the leaves, but not the berries as they are poisonous! Some birds however can eat the berries without getting sick. The light coloured timber is used as inlay in furniture. It is a pagan tradition that Holly is used as decoration at Christmas time.